Letter: New RCMP building fiscally inefficient
To the editor:
I agree with Adrian Witt in his letter published in the Capital News (June 20: No To Cop Shop Plan), saying that the proposed new RCMP building would have to have some ultra-expensive features to warrant a cost of $46 million.
A look at the West Kelowna RCMP building (2009) might reveal where some of the $46 million expense originates.
The West Kelowna detachment is 19,000 square-feet and the cost was $8.46 million, or $445 per square-foot.
The proposed Kelowna RCMP building is 86,000 sq. ft. (think of it in terms of 43 nice-sized homes) which works out to $535 per square-foot.
If you accept the 2009 cost figure, it does not look too bad. What does look bad is what made the price up to double the square-footage cost of a luxury home. Here are a few examples.
Trying for LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) resulted in a green roof. Yeah, actual vegetation up there.
Very expensive to put in because of the weight and extra labour, but it has some real advantages.
Look it up. Of course that depends on the waterproof membrane not leaking or being punctured by the vegetation roots.
To catch the extra rain water that the vegetation won’t absorb, there is an underground cistern in the basement. Allow me to do the math.
A 100 millimetre rainfall, quite heavy for this region, would result in 20 cubic metres of rainwater on a 2,000 sq.ft. roof.
If half of that is absorbed by the green roof, it still leaves 10 cubic metres to go to the cistern and be stored for landscape irrigation.
For those still on imperial measurements, that cistern would be a three-foot-by-three-foot-by-39-inch, plus piping and pumps of course.
Cost? Don’t know. Good value for tax dollars? You decide.
Then there is the architecture. Big curved roof and a huge two-storey curved stone facade. Cost? Probably more than an average home.
Maybe Kelowna is trying to outdo West Kelowna? I would like to propose an alternate idea.
Buy or build six luxury homes in Kelowna—one each in North Glenmore, East Kelowna, Mission, Rutland, Ellison and Clifton/Wilden/ Magic Estates.
Spend $2 million on each, then add $500,000 for electronics and the same amount for a tactical weapons vault.
Now we are up to $18 million, with a whole bunch of money left over to refurbish the Doyle Avenue detachment, with emphasis on the jail because of its proximity to the courthouse. And how luxurious does a jail have to be anyway?
Finally, looking back at the famous Kelowna fire that almost resulted in a complete evacuation of the city in 2003, and the gang shooting at the Delta Grand, where would you want all our police stationed? In one big four-storey building or in the seven detachments spread across the city?
Other advantages would be lower response times to crimes in progress, and mileage and gasoline savings.